Providing answers - or at least more information - to the most difficult medical questions is the aim of medical scientists. And how research findings are translated and made available can be as important as the discoveries themselves.
Edible dormice feed preferably on high-energy seeds for reproduction and putting on fat reserves. Beech trees, however, save energy by producing seeds only in certain years on a large scale. A long-term study by researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna has shown for the first time that edible dormice avoid areas with a high beech density. They prefer areas with a mix of conifers and beech trees and thus a balanced food supply.
Spilled grain, rail-killed ungulates, and the effects on other species of increased light and warmth may all attract grizzly bears to forage along railways in Canada's mountain parks, which could increase their risk of being hit by trains, according to a study published May 24, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Maureen Murray from the University of Alberta, Canada, and colleagues.
Researchers at the Wyss Institute and Spaulding Rehabilitative Hospital have discovered that patients walking in clinical robotic suits do not modify their gait in response to forces that are meant to alter the height of their steps, though they do respond to alterations in step length, providing insight into how the human brain executes walking and improving rehabilitative robot design.
Several species of stingless bees have specialized guards or soldiers to defend their colonies from attacks by natural enemies. The differentiation of these guardian bees evolved in the last 25 million years and coincided with the appearance of parasitic 'robber' bees, which represent a major threat to many stingless bee species. These discoveries were made by a group of researchers in Brazil in collaboration with colleagues in Germany.
Computer tomographic scans are used in a pioneering initiative by Adrienne Jochum and her interdisciplinary team of scientists to describe snails too small to handle. In a paper published in the open access journal ZooKeys, the scans elucidated three new species of thorn snails - a group of tiny, fragile and colourless land snails (<2 mm) showing characteristic internal sculpture. Uncovered through molecular analysis, the new species are described from Georgia (USA), Belize and Panama.
In a new study, CT-measured vascular pruning -- the diminution of distal pulmonary blood vessels (vessels on the outer edges of the lungs) -- was associated with increased risk of death in smokers without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study was presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference.
Genes responsible for hypoplastic left heart syndrome identified using mouse models.
Tests of cells collected from the umbilical cord blood vessel walls at birth can predict death or poor pulmonary outcomes in extremely preterm infants, say researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Sherpas have evolved to become superhuman mountain climbers, extremely efficient at producing the energy to power their bodies even when oxygen is scarce, suggests new research published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).